Living with a brain tumor: Reaction profiles in patients and their caregivers

Alessandra Petruzzi, Claudia Yvonne Finocchiaro, Elena Lamperti, Andrea Salmaggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The psychological burden induced by brain tumor is profound both for the sick person and for their own family. This particular tumor not only impacts patients' quality of life, but also reduces seriously the caregivers' quality of life. We aim to describe brain tumor patients and their caregivers' quality of life during the illness and assess the existing relation between clinical and psychological features of patients and their caregivers. Methods: The study involved 72 patients/caregivers couples. We used the following tools: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br) for patients and HADS, Caregiver Reaction Assessment Scale (CRA), 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) for caregivers. Results: Quality of life was more compromised in caregivers than in their loved ones. The impairment of caregivers' quality of life appeared mainly in a significant reduction in their mental health. Most caregivers experienced more depressive and anxiety symptoms, as compared with patients. Clinical and psychological features of patients did not correlate with psychological patterns of their own caregivers. Conclusions: It is important to give caregivers appropriate help, care and support. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor and treat, if necessary, caregivers' anxious or depressive symptomatology that impacts their quality of life, making them more helpless, frustrated and less able to handle the situation of disease and caregiving situation. It would be desirable to give caregivers the possibility of a psychological support and equally important would be a continuous teamwork aimed to promote a better caregivers' adaptation to the patient's illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1111
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Brian tumor
  • Caring
  • Patient-caregiver pairs
  • Quality of life
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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